Tap: Add (1) to your mana pool.
(4), Tap, Sacrifice a land: Rath's Edge deals 1 damage to target creature or player.
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Rath's Edge Discussion
5 months ago
The links that are posted in the description should help you out with any questions you might have, but the main reason why Necromancy is so powerful in the deck is that it allows us to win at instant speed. This usually happens when we're on our discard phase and repeatedly dredging and discarding Dakmor Salvage down to hand size due to repeated discard phases (see Ending Phase: Rule 514.3a for additional information).
Let's say that we're in a situation that we have The Gitrog Monster on the table, Dakmor Salvage in hand as well as 7 other cards, but no discard outlet to play. We proceed to end phase and then to cleanup, but because we're discarding Dakmor down to hand size we get a draw trigger from Gitrog. This draw trigger gives a new priority cycle and allows us to dredge Dakmor back to our hand, drawing an extra card if we hit a land with the dredge. Because players received priority, another cleanup step begins after that and we discard Dakmor again and repeat this action until we have a hand that we like. So essentially, we're using our cleanup step as a discard outlet for Dakmor, discarding any extra cards we don't need while looking for the cards that we do.
When we've started looping the cleanup step, we're looking to draw the following:
- Skirge Familiar
- Possibly any rituals, Elvish Spirit Guide and/or Crop Rotation to accumulate enough mana to cast Necromancy. A hand that you need to get if you have no other mana sources is Skirge Familiar, Necromancy, Elvish Spirit Guide, Dark Ritual and Crop Rotation so you can cast Rotation and get a land that produces black, then ritual into Necromancy and discard Familiar to reanimate it with the spell.
After getting Skirge Familiar into play, start looping Dakmor like normally and draw your deck, producing tons of black mana in the process (although not infinite, that comes next).
After drawing your deck, you can produce infinite black mana by doing the following:
- Discard a land, putting Gitrog's "draw a card" trigger on the stack.
- Before the trigger resolves (and kills you), discard Kozilek to shuffle it and the land back to your library.
- Before letting the draw trigger resolve, discard and dredge Dakmor Salvage to Skirge, milling the land and Kozilek. This creates a draw trigger and a Kozilek shuffle trigger. Put the draw trigger on the stack first and then put the shuffle trigger on top so the shuffle resolves first, putting the land and Kozilek back to the library.
- Resolve your two draw triggers, drawing your 2-card deck and netting you 3 black mana.
Also, to loop any other nonland card than Kozilek, we can play/discard our card + Kozilek and let them shuffle, then discard land cards to draw our nonlands + Kozilek again and use the loop above to draw our lands we discarded + Kozilek to get back to square one. This loop effectively makes our library, hand and graveyard essentially the same zone, allowing us to play any of our instant-speed spells infinite times assuming we have the mana for it. Some Gitrog decks end the game at this point by just repeatedly casting something like Ebony Charm or Geth's Verdict to drain the table out, but we're using Rath's Edge/Sunscorched Desert to win instead and this requires infinite green mana.
To get infinite green mana, you can do it in two ways. One way is to repeatedly reanimate (Necromancy) and sacrifice (Culling the Weak) our Riftsweeper to get Elvish Spirit Guide back to our deck, then draw and exile it repeatedly for green mana. The other way is to repeatedly cast Crop Rotation, finding any land that taps for two green mana or more (pretty much only Twilight Mire or Gaea's Cradle with two or more creatures on the field) and then tap it for more green to cast another Crop Rotation, sacrificing the same land to get it back untapped (to rotate into the same land, just shuffle it back with Kozilek before Rotation resolves).
Now that we have infinite green mana, we can start Crop Rotating for Sunscorched Desert or Rath's Edge to start pinging our opponents for 1 each time. With Sunscorched Desert the loop is the same as the loop above, but to win with Rath's Edge you need to have an extra land to sacrifice each time you use its ability. You can do this by casting Necromancy on a Dryad Arbor (as it is a creature!) to bring it back to play, then sacrifice the Arbor to the ability of Rath's Edge to ping one opponent for 1. Repeat for infinite damage.
As you can see, Necromancy has a ton of applications in the deck, and is definitely a must if we're looking to win at instant speed. For more concise and easy-to-the-eyes information, check the primer links in the description if you want to learn more or have further questions.
5 months ago
The only reason Geth's Verdict is at all considered it that it is one of the cheapest instant speed ways to win of a Gitrog endstep kill (though I have been considering Ebony Charm). One of the most powerful things Gitrog can do is combo off using the endstep, where it would be impossible to flash in Faith of the Devoted. That's the beauty of the Rath's Edge/Geth's Verdict kill-cons: they work at instant speed (without being on the table already).
When comboing at sorcery speed, I would easily agree that the enchantment is stronger. Once it resolves, you do not need to expose your kill-con to the stack. However, unlike Rath's Edge and Geth's Verdict, Faith of the Devoted does literally nothing to advance your gameplan/mess with opponents. Rath's Edge can kill annoying creature, hit planeswalkers, and draw cards. Geth's Verdict can kill manadorks in the early game and pressure commander-centric decks to produce an extra creature. Faith of the Devoted only drains (and only if you have a discard outlet out), so while it is somewhat relevant for Necro and AdNaus, you do not want to spend mana and cards to simply drain some life (and it only does the new drain, which is terrible. My playgroup named it 'slurping' :P ).
I do not know enough about how well the Gitrog combo works online. In paper, I need 20 minutes tops, usually about 10-15, to draw my deck. The only thing I am scared of is milling both Kozilek AND Gaea's Blessing at the same time. Otherwise, my opponents need to have 3 ways to interact with my graveyard.
I only ever really go through my library once, by stacking about 90 draw triggers before letting any resolve. This way I am guaranteed to find what I want.
5 months ago
The problem of Faith of the Devoted is that it is only good for the combo. Having to dredge through your deck for everything only takes a long time physically, but it is more efficient in terms of card slots. For a less powerful version of Gitrog, it may work to allow non-competitive players who do not have the same patience to tolerate the deck. I personally prefer to use Geth's Verdict for a quicker/more intuitive kill when working outside of cEDH, since the Rath's Edge kill is annoying to explain to those not experienced with competitive bullshit.
5 months ago
are all repeatable effects that kill when Horobi is on the board, and they're all lands.
These are all under $3 and can help with token struggles.
Scour from Existence hits enchantments.
5 months ago
Are both lands that kill but also tap for colorless.
6 months ago
Doesn't Sunscorched Desert fit the same role as Rath's Edge? It doesn't really matter if the Skirge Familiar already is in play, and the ability to kill creatures and sacrificing lands probably makes Rath's Edge better, but couldn't you in theory cut Harrow which is a weaker card?
It really does seem obvious that Rath's Edge is better, but I am asking since you have a tendency of answering really well. I've been reading up on a lot of your primers/other articles recently and I am basically a fan, but I've never found anything about Sunscorched Desert.
6 months ago
AlexoBn Haha, yeah. It takes some practice and a lot of thinking, but it is super satisfying when you get the hang of it, and people are pretty surprised when you kill them with a land that does 1 damage. Or exile their entire library face-down.
8 months ago
Rath's Edge is the primary wincon as it basically allows you to run the minimal amount of dead cards (cards that are dedicated to the combo and don't help much in any other way, making them essentially dead draws unless you're going off).
While cards like Exsanguinate, Gemstone Array and Bloodrite Invoker (as well as Ebony Charm/Geth's Verdict) do help with making the combo simpler, none of those cards really help you out in other situations. In the case that you draw Edge in the early/midgame, you can still use it as a land drop or abuse it for countless other land shenanigans that Gitrog makes possible (discarding it to any discard outlet to draw a card when Gitrog is out, increasing the amount of targets for Life from the Loam etc.).